Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Women And Children First

British army at Pensacola: MD Loyalist Officer, PA Loyalist Officer, German Waldeck Regiment Private, MD Loyalist Private, picture from

The phrase "Women and children first" is an excellent summary of nineteen hundred years of Christian influence on men. It follows the principle given in 1 John 3:16: "Hereby we perceive the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." In short, the strong die that the weak might live. This is changed today, based partly on the theory of Evolution, where the weak die that the strong might live.

While "women and children first" is associated with RMS Titanic or HM Troopship Birkenhead, the principle was also seen far before either of those.

After the Continental victory in the American War for Independence, hundreds of soldiers, men, women, and children loyal to Great Britain sailed for Canada. One of the transports for the Loyalists was the Martha, carrying 2 regiments: Maryland Loyalists and 2nd Battalion, DeLancey's Brigade, in addition to women and children. As they sailed to Canada, the ship struck rocks in the Bay of Fundy, on September 23, 1783. The long boat was smashed by one of the masts falling, and only the jolly-boat and cutter remained. The cowardly captain turned the jolly-boat loose on the waves and sailed for shore in the cutter.

This next portion is quoted from Maryland Loyalists web site "Having lost their homes and possessions, the Maryland Loyalists were exiled to Canada. While sailing to their new homes, their ship, HMS Martha, ran aground in the Bay of Fundy and sank. It is said that, after putting their wives and children into the small boats, the remaining Marylanders formed up into ranks on the main deck as the ship went down."

Perhaps some of the nearby inhabitants came out with their boats to the wreck and picked up the women and children before the soldiers (the captain discouraged any from visiting the site of the wreck, but it did not succeed). In any case, some of the passengers on board the Martha were saved. This provides a testimony both of "the weak die for the strong" as the captain did, and "the strong die for the weak", as the Maryland Loyalists did.

Loyalists arrive in Canada

Monday, December 5, 2011

Adrienne de la Fayette

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life--Proverbs 31:12

He married, at the age of sixteen, the daughter of the Duke d'Ayen, of the family of Noailles--somewhat younger than himself;--and at all times the noble encourager of his virtues--the heroic partner of his sufferings--the worthy sharer of his great name and of his honorable grave. ...This admirable lady, who, in the morning of life, had sent her youthful hero from her side, to fight the battles of constitutional freedom, beneath the guidance of Washington, now goes to immure herself with him in the gloomy cells of Olmutz.--Edmund Everett, orator

Adrienne de la Fayette was born on November 2, 1759. At the age of fourteen, she married Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roche-Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de la Fayette. Lafayette sailed for America to assist the colonies in the American War for Independence and became not only a major-general in the Continental Army, but also one of Washington's closest friends.

He returned to France after the war was over and enjoyed life with his family, until the French Revolution broke out. Lafayette supported it, but only in moderation. He believed in a constitutional monarchy, not anarchy or tyranny. But the Revolution became more and more bloody, until Lafayette fled to Holland. The Austrians were at war with France and arrested Lafayette. After moving him a few times, they finally locked him up in Olmutz prison.

Adrienne had been imprisoned by the Revolutionaries and was in ever-present danger of being executed. However, the Americans were able to protect them and eventually Madame de la Fayette was released. She and her two daughters (her son Georges-Washington had been sent to America) immediately travelled to Olmutz, where they rejoined Lafayette. After a new general named Napoleon had humbled the Austrians, a peace treaty was signed and Lafayette was free.

Adrienne had sacrificed much for her husband, even (many historians believe) her health. On Christmas Eve, 1807, she died, much to the grief of Lafayette, who never remarried. Her last words were, "I am all yours".

"She is a good and amiable lady, exceedingly fond of her children...passionately attached to her husband!!! A French lady and fond of her husband!!!"--Abigail Adams

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Battle of Narva

Today, 311 years ago, an 18 year old monarch led his troops into his first battle against the might of Russia. His name was Charles XII, and he was King of Sweden.
Sweden was a formidable power on the Baltic Sea when Charles XII came to the throne. But he was young, and Peter the Great of Russia and Augustus II of Poland combined to take Swedish territory, thinking that Charles would not resist. However, Charles XII would not let this happen, and the Great Northern War began.
The Russians formed a mighty army of 30,000 soldiers and besieged the fortress of Narva. Charles XII came to the rescue with less than 10,000 Caroliners (the term for troops of Charles XII).
Charles determined to attack , even though there was a violent snowstorm blowing in the faces of the Russians. “With the storm, they won’t see how few we are!” he told his generals. The Swedish army fearlessly stormed the Russian entrenchments, splitting the Russian army in two. Many Russians tried to retreat across the Narva River via the bridge, but it collapsed and many drowned. Darkness fell, and the Swedes were in the enemy camp, but with two large groups of the Russians on either flank. In the morning, the two armies, amounting to perhaps 20,000 Russians, surrendered to Charles XII. 18,000 more had been killed or drowned, while the Swedish loss was less than 2,000 men. Charles XII had taken more prisoners than were soldiers in his entire army, in addition to 171 flags and 145 cannons. The Battle of Narva was a complete victory for the Caroliners.
Charles XII demonstrated considerable maturity. To be able to plan for battle, to attack, to be void of fear, and then to be blessed with victory—this is indeed something which many men aged 18 years have lost today. However, with God’s help, we can recover the maturity that Charles XII demonstrated at his first and most glorious victory.
Note: The orders of battle of both Russians and Swedes at Narva can be found at

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Louise de la Valliere

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions--Psalm 51:1

"My sin has been public; my repentance must be public too"--Louise de la Valliere

"I speak knowingly, and nothing but what I have seen and has been related to me by undeniable witnesses, and I never knew or heard of but one [Louise de la Valliere] who did not one way or other deceive their gallant, and am persuaded that she was misled merely by the love of the person of the prince which she has shown by her quitting the world and going into a nunnery of a very strict rule, where she has lived ever since a great example of penance and mortification;"--James II

Of all the powerful posts in Louis XIV's France, Louise de la Valliere held the highest as the King's mistress. However, by the grace of God, she saw the error of her ways, renounced her position in deep repentance, and joined a convent. Louis XIV's court did not understand her, and apparently persecuted her for her decision, for she said "When I am in trouble at the Carmelites' [convent], I will think of what those people have made me suffer." They could not understand why she would give up wealth, titles, position, and even love...for what? For something that is worth far more than all of these.

She sacrificed to follow the Word of God.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Not-So-Glorious Revolution

Remember, remember, the fifth of November
The Williamite treason and plot!—author's adaptation of traditional rhyme

On November 5, 1688, Prince William of Orange set foot on English soil, beginning the struggle for power that would ultimately be known as the “Glorious Revolution.”
Most Protestants see it much as R. M. Ballantyne put it: “The great Revolution of 1688, which set William and Mary on the throne, also banished the tyrannical and despotic house of Stuart for ever; opened the prison gates to the Covenanters; restored to some extent the reign of justice and mercy; crushed, if it did not kill, the heads of Popery and absolute power, and sent a great wave of praise and thanksgiving over the whole land. Prelacy was no longer forced upon Scotland. The rights and liberties of the people were secured, and the day had at last come which crowned the struggles and sufferings of half a century.”

So…was William of Orange justified?

James (future James II) had married Anne Hyde, and had two daughters: Mary and Anne. Mary married William, Prince of Orange (in the Netherlands), and Anne married George, Prince of Denmark. In 1671, Anne Hyde died, and in 1673, James, a Catholic, married Mary of Modena, a Catholic. In 1685, James II succeeded to the throne upon Charles II’s death. On June 10, 1688, Mary of Modena had a son named James Francis Edward Stuart, or James III.

In the English law, a younger son would succeed to the throne before an older daughter. This rule was used with Henry VIII’s children: Edward VII, the youngest child, was first on the throne, then Mary, the oldest, then Elizabeth, the youngest daughter. This meant that James III would become king of England before his sisters, Mary and Anne.

Perhaps this would have been tolerable for William, had it not been for one more factor: France. William had devoted his life to building a “Grand Alliance” against France and her “Sun King”, Louis XIV. The Grand Alliance comprised the Catholic Hapsburg Empire (roughly Austria and Germany), Catholic Spain, the Duchy of Savoy, and the Protestant Netherlands. But one country was missing: England. William of Orange desperately wanted England in his Grand Alliance, but James—remembering that France had kept him safe from Cromwell—refused. Instead, he stayed neutral in the war that was brewing.

When James III was born, seven noblemen asked William to claim the crown in his wife’s name. They said that James III was not the real son of the King, but that the King intended to foist him on the English people to create a Catholic dynasty.

William was glad to oblige (though he had congratulated the King and Queen on the birth of their heir, and later said he believed James III was their lawful son), for this would draw England into his “Grand Alliance”. He prepared a fleet and army to land in England, which they did on November 5. His declaration when he landed said that he was here, not to claim the crown, but to persuade James to dismiss his Catholic councilors. However, he met with a cold welcome from the English, who did not like a foreign power on English soil.

James’s army was around him, but many treacherous officers such as John Churchill, Earl of Marlborough, deserted to William. Mary of Modena and James III fled to France, escorted by the Duc de Lauzen. James II was captured by William, and entered London, then was moved to Rochester. While in Rochester, James attended Mass…with the supposedly Protestant Dutch Blue Guards. He told the colonel that “…while in the English army not 1000 men in every 180,000 were Catholics, the invading army, professedly to vindicate the Protestant liberties, was two-thirds of it composed of Catholics.” After, he escaped to France, not trusting himself in England.

Now, Parliament declared the throne vacant, and offered—not to James’s daughter Mary—but to William and Mary! In fact, Mary ruled in name only; the real power was William. James II had brought liberty of conscience to England, but William III made life intolerable for the Irish Catholics by breaking the Treaty of Limerick. Incidentally, this would strengthen the French because young Irish soldiers went to France to fight in the Irish Brigade against the English.

While life would seem bad for James II, he consoled himself by saying that it was the will of God. An excellent way to see the unfortunate “Glorious Revolution”.

Friday, October 28, 2011

French Army at Yorktown

Of all the French forces that fought in the American War for Independence, General Rochambeau's French expeditionary corps are probably the most famous in the United States, contributing greatly to the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. Rochambeau had over 6,000 troops with him from these infantry regiments (listed in order of precedence):

  • Bourbonnois

  • Royal-Deux-Ponts (German)

  • Soissonois

  • Saintonge

  • Agenois

  • Gatinois

  • Touraine

  • Metz Artillery Regiment

Rochambeau also had the exotic 2nd Legion of Volontaires-Etrangers de la Marine, better known as Lauzun's Legion. The Duc de Lauzen had 600 men, of whom half were hussars armed with lances, and the other half were infantry.

So why did the French fare so poorly in the Seven Years War, yet were able to pound the British twenty years later? Lord willing, I hope to answer this question next time I write.

Soldiers (above) from Gatinois Regiment, picture from Note the red plumes on the hats: these point out that the wearers are grenadiers, the elite of the regiment.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Poem--The Loyalist of the Vendee

In the deadly chaos of the French Revolution, one dauntless group stood for God, King, Church, and Country: the Catholic and Royal Army. Drawn mostly from the regions of Vendee and Poitou, the Vendeans fought the revolutionaries for eighteen months until they were finally crushed. The Honorable George Sydney Smith wrote an excellent poem (especially the dauntless resolution present in XII.) about the youngest and best of the Vendean generals, Henri de la Rochejacquelein.

The Loyalist of the Vendee


Now, as there is a God in Heaven, and Jesu is his son,

And to Our Lady grace is given, and to the Holy One;

Now, as in sooth, the Church is truth; and if it be her will,

That false shall fail, and right prevail, and good outlast the ill


Then by this Heart, and by this Cross, and by our own Vendee;

By every feeling man can feel, or prayer that man can pray,

By hope in Him, round whom we kneel, I charge you all to swear

One last oath with Rochejacquelein, to dare as he will dare.


And if my words vaunt overmuch, and if I seem to say

That I shall be the boldest, or the foremost in the fray,

Full many a name of older fame, there are around, I know,

Talmont, Foret, Lescure, D'Elbee, and brave Cathelineau.


And many a gallant dalesman, and many a mountaineer,

To whom their Church, and King, and France, and Gentlemen are dear;

Not strong like theirs my strength shall be, my zeal shall be more

For they have only heard of that Paris I have seen.


Where Fraud, and Crime, and Marat reign, and the Triple Colours wave

O'er the Churches of Our Lady, and the Blessed Genevieve;

Where Agnus, Pix, and Crucifix, are made the wanton's spoil

And the bells which called to vespers, now call to blood and broil.


The Priest, those gentle Priests and good, your fathers loved to hear,

Sole type below, 'midst work and woe, of the God whom we revere.

There's not a street, trod under feet, they have not dyed with gore;

There's not a stone that does not own one martyrdom, or more.


The King, I saw the Accursed Cap on his anointed head;

And scoff, and scorn, and gibe, and jest, and mocking words were said;

But he took the nearest hand, and he laid it on his breast,

And he bade it count the pulses, and bade it thence learn rest.


The Queen, her proud lip curled with scorn, through all those fierce alarms,

Till Santerre came beside her with the Dauphin in his arms;

Then, her mien grew still and stately, though she shook in every limb;

Her fear was for her infant, her calmness was for him.


And then and there I swore Santerre should rue that bitter wrong;

And then and there I swore Santerre should learn my name ere long;

And that, this year, should Paris hear, of the loyal hearts and true,

In the Vendee, and the Bourbonnais, and the woodlands of Poitou.


Now, swore I right, or swore I wrong, it is for you to show,

For here is the white standard, and yonder is the foe:

And by your aid, that oath I made, oh, keep it as your own,

May yet restore, (like Joan's of yore,) the Lilies and the Throne.


Your pardon, Sirs, the rebel stirs, his vanguard is at hand,

Let others will, let me fulfill, what orders you command;

What if my years are but nineteen, oh, think what I have seen

O, think of that insulted King, and of that Hero Queen.


Then follow me, where'er it be, I make within the foe,

And if I flinch, or fail one inch, there straightway strike me low;

And if I fall, swear one and all, ye will avenge my loss.

Now, Charge! for de la Rochejacquelein, for the Heart, and for the Cross!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Madame de Montcalm

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies--Proverbs 31:10

"She was as tender a wife as she was a devoted mother"--Abbe H. R. Casgrain

Louise-Angelique, Madame de Montcalm was born in 1709 or possibly early in 1710. I do not yet know the exact date of her birth; however, she was born after her father died, and he died on July 10, 1709. On October 3, 1734, she married a young soldier named Louis-Joseph, Marquis de Montcalm. Montcalm dearly loved his wife and six children, and his wife reciprocated this love. In 1756, as the Seven Years' War broke out, the Minister of War sent Montcalm to Canada to command French troops there. Madame de Montcalm did not wish to see him so far away, but she let him go--and never saw him again. Even through the rigors of campaign, and the battles with Governor Vaudreuil, he never forgot his wife and six children who were waiting in France for him. "Adieu, my heart, I believe I love you more than ever!" is the affectionate closing to one of his last letters home. Montcalm died shortly after the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. One of his last acts was to write a letter for every member of his family.

She died on March 12, 1788, thirty-nine years after her beloved husband.

I have not yet found any portrait, engraving, illustration, or any other picture of Madame de Montcalm, so I drew one.

Apparently Montcalm liked green coats, so in my drawing, he wears one, while Madame de Montcalm has a green dress. His two sons (one as colonel of the Regiment de Montcalm) are represented, as well as his four daughters. The one in green is Mirete, who died while Montcalm was fighting in Canada. Under magnification, one might notice a bird on the left. That is a tribute to Montcalm's verse, written when some said the number of his children was too many for such a small fortune: "Small birds He (God) gives the pasture, And His goodness extends to all nature."

An excellent tribute to the faith of Montcalm and his wife.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Battle of Preston Pans

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Preston Pans, the greatest of all Jacobite victories in the Jacobite Rising of 1745.

When "Bonnie Prince Charlie" landed in Scotland to reclaim the throne for his father, James III (whose supporters were known as Jacobites), the Highland clans quickly formed an army for him. George II sent General Sir John Cope to stop this "Young Pretender". After almost fighting a battle in the Correyaireck Pass, Cope retreated to the Lowlands. Charlie and his army followed, and captured Edinburgh. General Cope was too late to save Edinburgh, but he set up his army on Preston Pans.

Charlie was ready for a battle, so his Jacobites moved to Preston Pans too. That evening, the armies kept rearranging for battle. In the morning, a thick fog covered the battlefield. The Highlanders charged through the fog and, missing the infantry in the middle, routed the dragoons on the flanks of the enemy. With their flanks open, the British infantry was rolled up by the wild, sword-swinging Highlanders in less than fifteen minutes. The first major conflict of the Jacobite Rising of 1745 was a huge victory for the Jacobites. General Cope actually brought the news of his own defeat, unlike his valiant subordinate Colonel Gardiner, who died in battle while leading seventeen soldiers who remained on the battlefield. The battle is celebrated in the song, Hey Johnny Cope, Are Ye Waulkin' Yet?

Following this battle, Charles and his army had much of Scotland to themselves. They enlarged the Jacobite army, until they daringly marched into England.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Charles XII's View on War

Charles XII of Sweden was one of the greatest soldiers of his age. God had uniquely prepared him to fight Poland and Russia, who were intent on stealing Swedish territory, in the Great Northern War (1700-1721). For nine years, the brilliant King of Sweden crushed his enemies until his defeat at Poltava. Even then, he still continued the war until he was killed in 1718 while besieging a fortress. This accomplished soldier said of war: "I have resolved never to start an unjust war but never to end a legitimate one except by defeating my enemies."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Johnstone's Escape

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. As I have already written on it, I will not study the entire battle, but only focus on one man's escape during the rout of the French. The Chevalier de Johnstone was aide-de-camp to General Montcalm during the campaign. A year after, when he was taken prisoner by the British:

"An Englishman asked me one day the name of the general officer, mounted upon the black horse, who had passed their army at the moment after the defeat of our army, the 13th of September the year preceding. He added that they aimed at his horse in order to dismount him, and make him prisoner; but that it turned out that his horse was invulnerable, to escape the thousand musket shots which assailed him on all sides. I answered him that it was myself; that chance had conducted me there without any desire or ambition to attain that salutation, worthy in effect of a general officer, but that their soldiers had not followed their orders, for the discharge they had aimed at me fell in the brushwood. I felt the sound of the balls which passed me at the height of the horizon, like a handful of pease which they had thrown in my face; and I showed him my dress, in which a ball had carried away a piece of cloth from the shoulder."

God miraculously preserved Chevalier Johnstone from harm.

A general officer, who could be Chevalier Johnstone, exhorts the French troops just before they march to that fateful battle on the Plains of Abraham.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Today, 302 years ago, the Battle of Malplaquet in the War of the Spanish Succession was fought.

The War of the Spanish Succession was fought from 1702-1713 to determine who would be King of Spain. There were two claimants to the throne: the Austrian Charles III and the Frenchman Philip V. Austria, England, the Netherlands, and Prussia supported Charles III and France and Bavaria supported Philip V. There were three theatres of war: the Netherlands/Belgium, Spain, and the Rhine River.

England sent the Duke of Marlborough to head the Allied war effort in the Netherlands with Prince Eugene of Savoy as his second-in-command. Marlborough had beaten the Franco/Bavarians at Blenheim, at Ramillies, and at Oudenarde. Prince Eugene had worked with him except at Ramillies, where he defeated the French at Turin instead.

The war had not gone well for the French. Cities had surrendered, three French armies had been destroyed, and commanders had been killed or captured. A few bright spots shone through, like Berwick's victory at Almanza and Tesse's repulse of Eugene at Toulon. But Marlborough had never been defeated in battle.

Louis XIV assigned the campaign of 1709 to his best French general, Marshal Villars, with Marshal Boufflers as his second-in-command. Villars had entrenched near Malplaquet with a new French army and was prepared for battle. He had perhaps 80,000 soldiers and few veterans.

By contrast, Marlborough and Eugene had united and had 100,000 soldiers ready to take the French lines. Most of them were veterans. The Allies had 110 cannons, against 80 French cannons.

Early in the morning, the battle began with a heavy artillery duel. The Dutch assaulted the right wing of the entrenchments but were forced back by a heavy counterattack. Marlborough sent Eugene into the left with a heavy column of troops. They advanced, but were met with heavy cannon and musket fire. Nevertheless, the Allied forces stormed through. Eugene was wounded in the head, but not mortally.

With the left secure, the allies poured cavalry through the center. Boufflers led the French cavalry, including the Maison du Roi (King's Guards--Gardes du Corps, Gendarmes, Chevaux-Legers) in six counter-attacks on the Allied cavalry.
Villars was wounded in the knee and was moved from the field. Boufflers withdrew the French army neatly away, while the Allies did not attempt a pursuit. The French had lost 9,206 men and the Allies, 20,316.

So who won? Marlborough forced the French from their entrenchments and proceeded to capture the city of Mons, but Villars had inflicted heavy casualties on the Allies. Marlborough was fired in 1711, and the command given to the Duke of Ormonde.

Malplaquet bears similarities to Bunker Hill. Both saw an entrenched army forced from their fortifications while inflicting heavy casualties on their opponents. And yet the heavy casualties made the British more eager for peace.

Note: Casualty figures are taken from John Cornelius O'Callaghan's excellent study History of Irish Brigades in the Service of France

Friday, September 2, 2011

Beatrix Jenkinson

"If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men"--Romans 12:18

Picture from From left to right: Mary Jenkinson, Charles Edward Stuart, Beatrix Jenkinson.

Beatrix Jenkinson is relatively unknown. I have not yet found the date of her birth, death, or marriage (supposing she was married). She appears for a short time on the stage of history and disappears just as suddenly, leaving behind a reputation for kindness.

One thing that is known is that she had at least one sister named Mary and one brother. Her father was minister at Tranent Church in Scotland. In the year 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie landed in Scotland to reclaim the crown of England, Scotland, and Ireland for the Stuarts. He raised an army of Highland Scots and marched on Edinburgh, which was defended by General Sir John Cope. On his march, Prince Charles stopped at Duddingston, where he met Beatrix and Mary Jenkinson. He called them the "bonniest lassies I have seen in Scotland".

On September 21, Charlie finally brought General Cope's army to battle at Preston Pans. In fifteen minutes the British were routed, with General Cope running for dear life. Only his subordinate Colonel James Gardiner continued the battle until he was wounded with a Lochaber axe. Colonel Gardiner was carried to Tranent Church and cared for by Beatrix Jenkinson until he died on the morning of September 22.

This, then, is all that is known of Miss Jenkinson, who met Prince Charles and cared for his enemy, Colonel Gardiner.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Praise the Lord! Burns Family Studios has reached their $20,000 goal for Beyond the Mask! The final count is $24,010 raised. For more information, look at their trailer on Kickstarter.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

James II's Instructions to his Son on Warfare

James II (left) was King of England from 1685 to 1688, when William III of Orange invaded England and took the crown. James fled to France, and then to Ireland, where he waged war against William. The Jacobites (followers of King James) were defeated at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Also in 1690, James II began to draft these instructions to his son James Francis Edward Stuart, who was then two years old. My selections for this article represents James's view on war. Read the full instructions here, along with a multitude of other original documents from James II, James Francis Edward Stuart, and more.

If it please God to restore me (which I trust in his goodness he will do) I may then hope to settle all things so as may make it easier for you to govern all my dominions with safety to the monarchy, and the satisfaction of all the subjects; no king can be happy without his subjects be at ease, and the people cannot be secure of enjoying their own without the King be at his ease also, and in a condition to protect them and secure his own right; therefore preserve your prerogative, but disturb not the subjects in their property, nor conscience, remember the great precept, Do as you would be done to, for that is the law and the prophets. Be very careful that none under you oppress the people, or torment them with vexations, suits, or projects: Remember a king ought to be the father of his people, and must have a fatherly tenderness for them. Live in peace and quiet with all your neighbours, and know that kings and princes may be as great robbers as thieves and pirates, and will receive their punishment for taking anything unjustly from them, at the great tribunal, and be not carried away by ambition or thoughts of glory in this world, to make you forget that divine precept, and never be persuaded to go about to enlarge your territories by unjust acquisitions, be content with what is your own.
. . .
And now I must give you warning not to let yourself at any time be carried away by heat of youth, ambition or flattering interest to embark yourself in an offensive war, none of which can be justified by Christianity or morality. Kings and princes can no more justify their taking from their neighbours, but by way of reprisal towns or provinces, than thieves of highway men their unlawful gains.
Remember that maxim of Christ: "That one must not do ill that good may follow," and the other, "Be content with what is your own," which does not hinder kings and states from preserving and defending what is justly theirs by taking arms and repelling force by force; they owe that to themselves and to their subjects, but it is a terrible thing to begin unjust war.
Consider the consequences of it, both as to this world and the next, no forgiveness without restitution. Besides what desolation does it not bring upon whole kingdoms and provinces, and though armies that are well paid and under good discipline may be hindered from committing great disorders even in an enemy's country, yet what devastations does it not cause in an active war, which cannot be avoided to the ruin of thousands of poor people.

The young James Francis Edward Stuart and his mother, Queen Mary of Modena

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

French and Indian War Gallery by C. W. Jeffreys

Charles William Jefferys is certainly one of my favorite painters of the French and Indian War. Born in 1869 and died 1951, he painted many scenes of Canada, including these five from the French and Indian War.
These paintings begin in Acadia in 1755. The Acadians were French-speaking British subjects, who were constantly fighting the British. In 1755, the British deported most of the Acadians. In the painting, an officer reads the order in a church. The parishoners lament, but several British keep the protestations from getting out of hand.

With the Acadians gone, only one French post remained on Nova Scotia: Louisbourg. In 1758, General Jeffrey Amherst was tasked with capturing it. His subordinate James Wolfe landed at Gaberus Bay in the teeth of some French cannons. With Gaberus Bay captured, the whole British army could land safely, and Louisbourg's fate was sealed.

Louisbourg opened up the Saint Lawrence, but Quebec blocked it. Wolfe was sent to capture Quebec, but it was defended by the Marquis de Montcalm. On September 13, the two armies met at the Plains of Abraham. Montcalm encourages his soldiers for the last time before riding to attack the British line.

The British held their fire until the French were within twenty yards, then they released a volley that cut down many French, including General Montcalm.
After the Battle of Quebec, the British were victorious in the Seven Years' War, but trouble soon broke out in the form of an Indian uprising led by Chief Pontiac. Pontiac's warriors ravaged the Northwest from Michilimackinac to Pittsburg. They were defeated at Bushy Run by a British force with many Highlanders. This picture shows the 42nd "Black Watch" charging and breaking the Indian lines.

With the Indians quelled, the British North American empire would be peaceful for many years...or would it?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Queen Marie Lesczcynska

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil--1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Queen Marie Lesczcynska ("Frenchified" into Lezincka) is certainly one of the most forgotten queens of France. She was born in 1702 to Stanislas and Katarzina Lesczcynska, in the midst of international turmoil. In 1700, Peter the Great (of Russia) and Augustus II (of Poland) had devised a scheme to rob the 18 year old King of Sweden, Charles XII, of his Swedish empire. However, they picked the wrong man. In the first large battle of the Great Northern War, Charles XII crushed the Russians at Narva. In 1702, Charles turned against the Poles, and defeated them at Klissow. He deposed Augustus II, and installed Stanislas as King of Poland. Stanislas was king of Poland for four years until 1709, until Charles XII was defeated at Poltava and Stanislas resigned as king.

He and his family (he had two daughters, Marie and Anne) moved to Alsace, a territory somewhat under French control.

King Louis XIV died in 1715, and his great-grandson Louis XV succeeded him. In 1725, the Regent (Louis, Duke of Bourbon) was looking for a suitable queen for the young king, because there was a fear that he would die childless. His choice fell on Marie. When Stanislas heard it, he went to inform his wife and daughter (Anne had died at this time) of the good news:

"Fall we on our knees, and thank God!"

"My dear father, can you be recalled to the throne of Poland?"

"God has done us a more astounding grace, you are Queen of France!"

In 1733, Augustus II died, and Stanislas returned to the throne, backed by France. Russia and Austria put Augustus III on the throne instead, igniting the War of the Polish Succession. Stanislas was forced out of Poland, but France compensated him with the duchies of Lorraine and Barrois (conquered by the French in the war).

Marie was a good wife to Louis XV, but he was a terrible husband to her. However, Marie seems to have borne it patiently. She has the distinction of being grandmother to three French kings: Louis XVI, Louis XVIII, and Charles X.

She died in 1762, four years before her father died.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Beyond the Mask Movie

Burns Family Studios, maker of one of my favorite movies, Pendragon: Sword of His Father, recently announced a new feature-length film, Beyond the Mask. I was very excited about it, and best of all: it is set in my favorite century, the 18th century! This description is from their website.

This story is an action-fused historic adventure, set in the international turmoil of the mid 1770's. Running for his life, an East India Company assassin buried his past in a quiet English village, assuming the mantle of an Anglican priest. But this disguise won't last for long when a woman he loves and a war he no longer wants force him to confront the question of who he really is. In the face of a looming global conflict, he discovers for himself the meaning and source of true justification and freedom.

Fundamentally this is a story about where we find our identity. Each of us asks, why am I special, why is my work significant, who am I, and why should people respect me. The answers we find to these questions define how we live our lives. At Burns Family Studios, we believe that the greatest story ever told is the good-news of Jesus Christ--that the human condition to prove oneself over and over by performing to the critics doesn't iimpress God, and He accepts us in His Son, in-spite of, not because of, our best efforts. With this unmerited acceptance comes the only sure foundation for life.

All movies need funding, and Burns Family Studios has launched a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter. They need $20,000 by August 31. Please pray for Burns Family Studios, and consider supporting them financially.

P.S. Check out their trailers on Kickstarter!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee

I am not ashamed to own that I have a deep regard for the memory of Lord Dundee—a regard founded on a firm belief in his public and private virtues, his high and chivalrous honour, and his unshaken loyalty to his sovereign. But those feelings, however strong, would never lead me to vindicate an action of wanton and barbarous cruelty, or even attempt to lessen the stigma by a frivolous or dishonest excuse. No cause was ever effectually served by mean evasion, any more than it can be promoted by unblushing exaggeration or by gross perversion of facts.—page 259, Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers and Other Poems by William Edmundstone Ayrton

John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee is a man who seems to be a magnet for both withering criticism and astonishing praise. One sees “Bloody Clavers” as the worst persecutor of the godly since Saul of Tarsus; the other sees “Bonnie Dundee” as the most trustworthy gentleman of his time. It is difficult to see that the two sides are talking about the same soldier.

John Graham of Claverhouse was born in 1643. In 1672, Claverhouse was a soldier of fortune in the Dutch army of William, Prince of Orange. During the Battle of Seneffe, William’s horse was shot and he fell, with his enemies the French, close by him. Claverhouse dismounted and gave his horse to the Prince. As William rode away, Claverhouse covered his retreat.

Claverhouse returned to England with letters of commendation from William, and entered the service of King Charles II, who created an Independent Troop of Scottish Horse and gave the captaincy to Graham. His commander-in-chief was Lord Linlithgow. Linlithgow was charged with policing Scotland for the Covenanters. Covenanters were Presbyterians that signed the 1638 Solemn League and Covenant and met in fields (conventicles) instead of churches. Claverhouse was just one of Linlithgow’s captains of Horse (with Lord Airlie and Lord Home), and nothing higher.

One of Claverhouse’s first letters to his commanding officer contains this startling passage (17th century spelling is retained): Beseids that, my Lord, they tell me that the one end of the bridge of Dumbfrich is in Galaua, and that they may hold conventicles at our nose, we not dare to disspat them, seing our orders confines us to Dumfriche and Anandell.

A stunning letter: here is a man, said to have a vendetta against Presbyterians, being careful about whether the bridge is in his county or not.

Another of Claverhouse’s letters contains this interesting excerpt:

I was going to have sent in the other prisoners, but amongst them there is on Mr Francis Irwin, an old and infirm man, who is extreamly troubled with the gravelle, so that I will be forced to delay for five or six days.

Mr. Francis Irwin was a Covenanting preacher. Claverhouse apologizes to Linlithgow for delaying his journey because one of his prisoners—a preacher, no less--is sick and travel would be hard on him.

On June 1, 1679, Claverhouse and his cavalry, with some dragoons, were on the hunt for conventicles (meetings of Covenanters assembled in fields for church services). They dispersed one, capturing John King, a preacher. Continuing to march, Claverhouse ran into a huge conventicle at Drumclog. In his report to Linlithgow, Claverhouse says that only the armed men were there, having received word that he was coming. Despite being heavily outnumbered, Claverhouse fought, and was worsted. He fled to Glasgow as the Covenanters gathered up an army. At Glasgow, the Duke of Monmouth joined Claverhouse, and defeated the Covenanters at Bothwell Bridge.

Claverhouse resumed his work of policing Scotland for the Covenanters, but says to Lord Linlithgow (Whig in the passage means Covenanter):

"I am as sorry to see a man die, even a Whig, as any of themselves ; but when one dies justly, and for his own faults, and may save a hundred to fall in the like, I have no scruple."

Life would be fairly normal after this (but he married Lady Jean Cochrane, daughter of a staunch Covenanting family in 1684), until 1685, when Charles II died. He had no legitimate son to succeed him to the throne, so his Roman Catholic brother James II succeeded to the throne.

James II quickly passed the Act of Toleration, and in 1687, passed another Act of Toleration. The purpose of these two acts was to make life easier on all non-Anglicans in England.

Also in 1685, John Brown of Priesthill was killed. John Brown’s story varies among Covenanting authors. Wodrow states that Claverhouse shot John Brown with his own hand; and Walker says that six soldiers shot him. Who is right? Did Claverhouse shoot John Brown or did he not? Claverhouse himself says that “bullets and match in his house, and treasonable papers,” were found, in addition to a hidden dugout with swords and guns. (Note: for a better, more thorough analysis of John Brown, see the Appendix in Ayrton’s Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers)

In 1688, William of Orange (same one as from the Battle of Seneffe) landed in England to claim the throne in the name of his wife, Mary II. James II fled to France, but Claverhouse (now Viscount Dundee) raised an army in Scotland to hold the crown of Scotland for James.

General MacKay was dispatched against Dundee, and the two armies clashed at Killiecrankie. Dundee’s Highland clansmen swept away MacKay’s infantry, but John Graham was mortally wounded. He died, and the cause of James II in Scotland died with him. Even though Colonel Cannon took command of the army, he was crushed by MacKay at Cromdale.

He was, in his private life, rather parsimonious than profuse, and observed an exact economy in his family. But in the King's service he was liberal and generous to every person but himself, and freely bestowed his own money in buying provisions to his army : and to sum up his character in two words, he was a good Christian, an indulgent husband, an accomplished gentleman, an honest statesman, and a brave soldier" So says the grandson of Dundee’s companion Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel, writing before 1737.

William Paget wrote “A New Examen of Certain Passages in Lord Macauley’s History”. He has this to say about Graham of Claverhouse:

“In days notorious for profligacy there was no stain on his domestic morality in an age infamous for the almost universal treachery of its public men, his fidelity was pure and inviolate. His worst enemies have never denied him the possession of the most undaunted courage and military genius of the highest order. He was generous, brave, and gentle, a cavalier "sans peur et sans reproche ;"

The Viscount and Viscountess of Dundee

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lady Anne (Livingston) Boyd, Countess of Kilmarnock

General Hawley receiving the messenger informing him of the Jacobite march. The messenger is, unfortunately, incorrect, having a 1750s light dragoon helmet. Picture by the author.

And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not--Judges 5:15a

"She was a woman of splendid pers and manners; and Hawley, completely fascinated by her well-acted blandishments, spent the whole of this important forenoon in her company, without casting a thought upon his army"--Robert Chambers, historian

When Charles Edward Stuart a.k.a. "Bonnie Prince Charlie" landed in Scotland in 1745, William Boyd, Earl of Kilmarnock, joined him with a troop of Horse Grenadiers. When the Horse Grenadiers gave up their horses, Kilmarnock turned them into the Footguards.

After retreating from England, the Jacobites besieged Stirling Castle. British General Henry Hawley gathered an army to relieve Stirling. The Jacobites took up a position near Falkirk, but there was some danger that Hawley would strike before they were fully deployed.

The Countess of Kilmarnock solved the dilemma by inviting General Hawley to breakfast. Hawley apparently enjoyed himself, for he stayed until the battle began around 1 P.M.; then he departed in haste, taking her napkin and forgetting his hat (see author's illustration above).

Charles's Jacobites defeated Hawley's soldiers, and the Battle of Falkirk was a victory for the Prince. However, Lady Kilmarnock had made a very important contribution.

She died September 16, 1747, after the execution of her husband, Lord Kilmarnock.

Lord and Lady Kilmarnock from Panel #43 of the Prestonpans Tapestry

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Battle of Bothwell Bridge

Today, June 22, 1679, the Duke of Monmouth defeated the Covenanters at the Battle of Bothwell Brig (or Bridge), ending the Covenanter Rebellion (or Rising) of 1679.

The Covenanters took their name from a document, the National Covenant, which one of them had written in 1638. Those who signed it were called Covenanters.

They were strongly against the Anglican Church, and met in fields rather than churches. In the English Civil War (1642-51) they had been a mighty force in Scotland. The King forbade field meetings a.k.a conventicles, and had soldiers policing Scotland. One troop of the King's cavalry was under a young captain named John Graham of Claverhouse.

Right: A portrait of John Graham of Claverhouse

On June 1, Claverhouse and cavalry came upon a strong conventicle prepared for battle. The Covenanters outnumbered the King's soldiers, and after a short battle, sent him back to Glasgow. Thus began the Covenanter Rebellion (or Rising) of 1679. Claverhouse stayed at Glasgow until reinforcements under James Scott, the Duke of Monmouth, arrived. But the Covenanters were gathering strength too. At Bothwell Bridge, the Covenanters had 6,000 men, while Monmouth had:

  • 3 Independent Troops of Horse under Claverhouse, the Earl of Home, and the Earl of Airlie

  • The Life Guards under young Montrose (not the same as the Marquis of Montrose in the English Civil War)

  • A troop of English Horse under Major Edmund Maine

  • The King's Regiment of Foot under Colonel the Earl of Linlithgow

  • Lord Mar's Regiment (of Foot) under Colonel the Earl of Mar

  • The Scots Dragoons (three troops) under Captain Stuart, Captain Inglis, and Captain Strachan

  • English Dragoons (two troops) under Major Oglethorpe, and Captain Cornewall

  • And two or three more English troops of Dragoons

James Scott, the Duke of Monmouth

Note: a troop was 60 men commanded by a captain

Bothwell Bridge order of battle taken from page 62 of Grahame of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee by Michael Barrington.

Monmouth and his army would have to cross a bridge to reach the Covenanter camp, so if the Covenanters could defend the bridge stoutly, the Royal Army might not be able to pass. But most of the Covenanters were arguing (either about theology or commanders) rather than preparing to fight. Still, the bridge was barricaded with stones and some Covenanters were there to defend it. Linlithgow and his men were able to cross the bridge and defeat the divided Covenanters.

Replica of a banner carried at Drumclog and Bothwell Bridge by the Covenanters (from page 288 Mark Napier's Memorials and Letters Illustrative of the Life of John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee)

This was not only the last action of the Covenanters in their short-lived 1679 Rising (or Rebellion), but also the last time the Covenanters would gather a strong force against the King.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Jacobite White Rose Day

On June 10, 1688, James Francis Edward Stuart (to his supporters James III, to his detractors the "Old Pretender") was born to James II and his second wife, Mary of Modena. According to English law, a son would take precedence over an older daughter in the succession of the throne. Those who looked forward to James II's death so that his daughter Mary, who was married to William of Orange, would succeed to the throne, had their hopes shattered. Seven men wrote a letter to William, asking him to invade England for the throne.William was more than happy to oblige, and landed in England. Mary of Modena and her son fled to France, and James II followed shortly.
Now there were two opposing camps in England. The Williamites believed that William III had a right to sit on the throne. The Jacobites believed that William III was a usurper, and continued to pledge allegiance to James II, and when he died, to James III. The Jacobites remained a force to be reckoned with in European politics for nearly a century.
The white rose or white cockade was a symbol of Jacobitism. To symbolize their unity with France, James II's army wore white cockades (Williamites wore green plants or orange clothing), and the symbolism of the white rose/cockade carried over for centuries to the present day.
Happy White Rose Day!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake...or not

Marie-Antoinette is accused of being uncaring towards the peasants of France. When someone told her about the shortage of bread across France, she allegedly responded, "Let them eat cake (brioche)!" However, problems abound with attributing this saying to Marie-Antoinette.
Firstly, the only period source for the quote is Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Confessions. Rousseau says, "Finally I recalled the stopgap solution of a great princess who was told that the peasants had no bread, and who responded: 'Let them eat brioche.'"
Rousseau does not even cite the name of the "great princess".
Secondly, Rousseau wrote his Confessions in 1765, and they were published in 1782. In 1765, when he wrote the statement, Marie-Antoinette was nine and not even French! She was born in Austria in 1754, and married the future Louis XVI in 1770. Until 1770, the French population knew her only as the daughter of Austrian Empress Maria-Theresa. It is absurd to say that an Austrian archduchess of nine years should make a comment on the starving people of France!
Finally, a letter from Marie-Antoinette to her family in Austria,
"It is quite certain that in seeing the people who treat us so well despite their own misfortune, we are more obliged than ever to work hard for their happiness. The King seems to understand this truth."
Quite a different mindset on the peasants and their well-being than is traditionally ascribed to the last Queen of France!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


For lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O LORD.--Psalm 59:3

"The winners get to write history"--attributed to Napoleon

Marie-Antoinette (1753-1793) is possibly the most controversial woman on this calendar. She is frequently denounced as spending millions of the French treasury on fountains or candles, thus bankrupting the French crown, being uncaring about the peasants (e.g. "Let them eat cake"), and ultimately causing the French Revolution which guillotined her. However, I believe this portrait is too harsh. Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were the best monarchs that France had had for over one hundred years. Marie-Antoinette gave to the poor "bountifully" as M. Guizot says in his History of France. In gratitude they erected a monument of snow which said, "Fair queen, whose goodness is thy chiefest grace/With our good king here occupy thy place/Though this frail monument be ice or snow/Our warm hearts are not so." The problems with the Treasury began after the disaster of the Seven Years' War, and were only made worse by a spendthrift Minister of Finance. Marie-Antoinette had very little to do with the bankruptcy of the Crown. In fact, she rejected a diamond necklace after being informed that it cost the equivalent of two frigates (fast ships of 40-60 cannons). The French Revolution was caused more by Louis XV than by Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette.